Tuesday, June 27, 2006

SIDS: Cause and Cure

It's not such a mystery...

Here's a big chunk of the article, found in it's entirety on Mercola.com, a natural health website with tons of great information:
The New Paradigm

(A) SIDS has one primary cause, which we identify, noting a very few exceptions.

(B) And we present the preventives that have achieved 100-percent success; whence the title: VICTORY OVER CRIB DEATH.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is an unexpected infant death, after which thorough autopsy and examination of the death scene and circumstances at time of death reveal no identifiable cause of death. SIDS risk begins about two weeks after birth. It is the leading cause of death in months one to six, declines rapidly after a peak in the third month when the immune status received from the mother is ebbing, and is rare after a year of age.

The definition "SIDS" is faulty, for two reasons.

(1) A syndrome is "the aggregate of symptoms associated with a disease condition."[1] In crib death the only symptom is death itself. The "syndrome" designation opened the door for well-paid specialists to enjoy a nice lifestyle while investigating various "risk factors" -- but ignoring the actual cause.

(2) The term "sudden" also is inapplicable; we show that certain precipitating events make crib death, and sometimes its probable date, predictable.

Before World War II, unexplained infant deaths were unusual. But after 1950, the governments of nearly all the rich industrialized countries (regarding Japanese practice, see later) required treatment of baby and child mattresses with flame retardant chemicals. Phosphorus and antimony were most commonly used; arsenic was sometimes added later as a preservative.[2]

Sadly, this well-intentioned measure was counterproductive in two ways.

(1) American SIDS deaths ballooned 400-fold; the toll has since declined.

(2) Among knowledgeable observers, it is well known that the number of baby deaths in residential blazes multiplied.[3] Statistical evidence, unfortunately, is not available.

The mechanism of death is identical in both types of tragedy: the generation of extremely poisonous gases from the chemicals that had been added -- in all innocence. First, with regard to SIDS. Common, ordinarily harmless household fungi such as Scopulariopsis brevicaulis and certain microorganisms consume the phosphorus, arsenic, antimony, added as fire retardants and plastic softeners.

In consuming the chemicals, the fungi emit the heavier-than-air neurotoxic gases based on phosphine (PH3), arsine (AsH3)[4] and stibine (SbH3). These gases are about one thousand times more poisonous than carbon monoxide, which can kill a person in a closed garage with a running engine. They are about as toxic as Sarin, used in the 1980s Iran-Iraq war and in a Tokyo terrorist subway poisoning in 1995.

In probably the worst environmental disaster of the 20th century, these toxic gases have killed about one million victims of SIDS worldwide. Gas generation starts when a mattress, containing both the chemicals and the fungi, is warmed to body temperature in contact with the baby. Perspiration, dribble, urine, vomit, body heat and -- as we shall see, critically important -- high (alkaline) pH enable the fungi to grow and generate gas rapidly.

If a mattress contains any antimony, for example, there is invariably more than enough, when converted to stibine, to kill a baby. Breathed for an extended time even in minute quantity, these nearly odorless gases can interrupt the choline/acetylcholine transfer of nervous impulses from the brain to the heart and lungs. That shuts down the central nervous system; heart function and breathing stop.

The Solution:
To prevent crib death, an appropriate gas-impermeable barrier is needed between mattress and baby. An inexpensive slip-on mattress cover called BabeSafe® -- invented by New Zealander T.J. Sprott, PhD -- came to market in New Zealand in 1996. Among one hundred thousand or so babies sleeping on this/these product(s) there and elsewhere, not one crib death has been reported.[8] [9] [10] An equally successful alternative is to wrap the entire mattress using thick, clear polyethylene plastic; see instructions with supply details at the end of this document.

I highly recommend you go read the article, as there are some very important bits of information there, if you have or will have a baby sleeping in your house (as I will, come October '06).

Please note: READ THE ARTICLE. PVC covers (BabeSafe covers are NOT PVC.) can be just as dangerous as the mattresses themselves.